Self-Belief, A Guest Post and Giveaway by Carina McEvoy, author of To Have, Not Hold


I’m delighted to be welcoming Carina McEvoy, author of To Have, Not Hold, to Linda’s Book Bag today. To Have, Not Hold was published on 1st August 2016 and is available for purchase here. You also have the chance to win an e-copy of To Have, Not Hold at the bottom of this blog post.

A great advocate in promoting greater acceptance for those with mental health problems and in having self-belief, Carina has kindly written a guest post today explaining how she has found her own self-belief.

To Have, Not Hold


Embrace a healthy attitude towards sudden outbursts of laughter; oh and maybe grab some tissues as you escape into the lives of three remarkable friends, as they each navigate their own catastrophic mess. Discover the strength of friendship while you submerge yourself in suspense, fury and humour.

Let the drama unfold… Emma’s doing her best to raise the adorable Amy while hanging on to the ghost of her past. But is she really the crazy, deranged woman she eventually feels compelled to be?

Beneath Siobhan’s picture perfect exterior, the struggle of deception is exhausting. However when life slaps her in the face with an unforeseen twist, will she be able to salvage any of her future, perfect or not?

With mounting money problems and an unwanted visit from his expertly suppressed past, Jack must confront his inner demons for once and for all. Can he defeat them and emerge as the true person he really is?

Authors Having Self Belief

A Guest Post by Carina McEvoy

Bizarrely enough, sometimes in this life the self-belief you need to do something will only come about when you have it done!

How important is it for an author to have self belief in their ability to produce something good enough that people will actually want to give up their precious time to and read? Pretty darn important would be the obvious answer yeah? As it is with anybody doing anything in life. It doesn’t matter what we are doing, we need to have a sense of self-belief. So, what happens when you have as about as much self belief as the North Pole has Penguins!?

Well if you are anything like me, you work your way through it, have a few minor tantrums along the way, the odd bar or dozen of chocolate and then eventually get there in the end! Wherever that ‘end’ is for you, you can do it!

The end for me changed so many times. I didn’t really require any self-belief when I started writing To Have, Not Hold! Nooooooo, not because I was as confident as a single entry in a competition. It was because I never had any intention of showing anyone my writing. It was a past time I indulged in when I went on maternity leave many moons ago. I had always loved writing and found it a great stress relief and relaxation method so writing a book came easy to me. I loved to delve into my fantasy fictional lives of Emma, Siobhan and Jack and see what was going on for them.

It took me years to complete the work, as it was very much a stop start project with no hurry in-between to complete it. After all it was only for me. But when I did near completion I thought how great it would be to publish it. Wow, imagine having my own book on my own bookshelf among all my favorite authors. Pretty incredible I thought to myself. So my ‘end’ moved from writing a book to publishing a book. That’s when the stress kicked in…who will I send it to, who would take it on, how long will it take to hear back, what if it’s not good enough. Writing it came easy but that wasn’t to say I wrote it well. See…that’s when I realized I have zero self-belief! So in the end I decided to go and self publish it. Then the ‘end’ changed one final time. I decided to send the book out into the big bad world…yikes!

And that’s when I really knew I believe more in fairies cleaning my house at night than I did in my writing and myself! Here I am, an ordinary woman trying to market a book I wrote that I never intended for anyone to read…all with little belief in my ability to write. Weird I know!

Why would I do such a thing? Well it’s like this. I imagine myself on my death bed in many many many years to come (my granny is 101 this year and I have her blood lol!) surrounded by weeping distraught family and friends, wondering how they can possibly enjoy life once I pop my clogs. And I imagine saying to them, well mostly to my grandchildren and great grandchildren, ‘Don’t miss out on life (cough), don’t die with any regrets of (cough cough) what you did not do (cough). Because here I am at 103 years of age (cough), and my one big regret is that I didn’t have the courage to do it (cough cough).’ There are two reasons in that lovely image above…one, I don’t want to have any regrets in life because I was too scared and also, I want to show my children and their children that it’s okay to go for it, even if you don’t succeed. The important thing is trying. That’s the attitude I guess I put the book out there with. At least I will have tried and I can’t do more than that.

Now that I have done it, I can honestly say that the self-belief I needed to do it has only decided to show up now! Finally eh! It came about by the reaction of so many lovely people to my writing. So I guess it was validation that the book was actually not too bad, that really fed my confidence. I wish I was the type of person who didn’t need validation but to be honest I think we are all like that…maybe I’m wrong in saying that, I don’t know. But wouldn’t it be nice to believe in what we do ourselves and not because someone has said good job.

But I can’t end of this post without referring to a massively important part of my writing, my family and friends. Without them I wouldn’t have went as far as I did. They encouraged me, pushed me and supported me all the way through it. They gave me the self-belief I needed when I didn’t have it myself.

So there you go, self-belief to do something often comes when you have it done! That’s a life lesson I didn’t know I was teaching myself till I learned it! Sometimes in life you won’t fully believe in yourself but if you have the passion and the want then belief will follow.

Carina x

To Have, Not Hold Giveaway


Now you’ve read Carina’s inspiring guest post I’m sure you would like to enter to win an e-copy of To Have, Not Hold! You can do so by clicking here. Open internationally until UK midnight 25th September 2016.

About Carina McEvoy


Carina McEvoy lives in the South East of Ireland with her husband, two daughters and crazy puppy samoyed. Thinking life as a stay at home mother would be pure luxury, she took a career break from secondary school teaching. However her bubble soon burst when she became a full time taxi, chef, environmental hygienist, medical practitioner, counsellor, peace negotiator, dietician and general slave to her extremely busy seven and four year old! But she wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is also extremely passionate about promoting positive mental health and dreams of a society where the stigma of mental health is extinct. She writes for an honest, open yet sometimes quite humorous blog She has spoken out again the stigma of mental health on Charity Radio and South East Radio.

In between her jobs listed above, she can found either writing or stuck in a good book! She is currently working on her second novel.

You can find out more by visiting her website, finding her on Facebook, following her on Twitter and on

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